From Dan Brown's MasterClass

The Secret of Secrets

Dan provides parting words of wisdom and encouragement and reveals the never-before-seen artifact he promised to share in the first lesson of his class.

Topics include: The Secret of Secrets


Dan provides parting words of wisdom and encouragement and reveals the never-before-seen artifact he promised to share in the first lesson of his class.

Topics include: The Secret of Secrets

Dan Brown

Teaches Writing Thrillers

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At the beginning of this MasterClass, I made a promise to you. I told you that I would admit something to you that I had never admitted to anyone, and that I would show you an artifact that only I had seen. And of course, we know how important keeping promises is to the storytelling process. So I want to do that now. After I wrote "The Da Vinci Code" and it became so popular, I sat down to write my next novel. And I very quickly discovered that it was much harder than I thought to write when you know that a lot of people are going to read what you've written. It turned out to be a six-year process. And about three years into it, I was really questioning whether or not I could do it. And I decided to try to trick myself into believing that I had already written the book. And I thought this book was going to be called "The Secret of Secrets." And so what I did is I actually created the book. I created an artifact right here, "The Secret of Secrets." What this book is, I'm not even sure what book it is. I just stuck a fake cover on the front of this. I made this on my computer. And every morning, I would sit down and I would hold this book, and I would say, well, I can feel the weight of the book. I can see the book. It actually already exists. All I have to do is write it. And as a little bit of extra impetus, a little bit of extra enthusiasm, I printed a copy of the New York Times bestseller list. And I photoshopped "The Secret of Secrets" into the number one spot trying to convince myself that the book had already been written, had already been published, and was already successful. This was just a trick to get me through that really tough time in writing a novel. And the reason I'm telling you this is that writing a novel is an enormous undertaking, and self-doubt will be part of that process. There will be days you just don't know if you can do it. And on those dates, what is going to save you is your process, your ritual. So if you're just starting to write a novel, go create that process. Go create that ritual. And if you are in the middle of a novel right now, recommit to that ritual. And I wish you the very best of luck.

Craft page-turning suspense

Packed with secret symbols and high-stakes suspense, Dan Brown’s thrillers have sold more than 250 million copies and include one of the world’s best-selling novels, The Da Vinci Code. In his writing class, Dan unveils his step-by-step process for turning ideas into gripping narratives. Learn his methods for researching like a pro, crafting characters, and sustaining suspense all the way to a dramatic surprise ending.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Dan Brown's class was as gripping as his books. He was really didactic about the process of writing novels and gave very generous advices. I think all chapters were great and helpful, but if I had to highlight a few it would be 10 and 16 through 19. Thank you for this very instructive experience.

Love Dan's style of writing, and will use many of his page turning ideas in building my manuscripts.

This was by far the best Masterclass we've watched. The teaching was clear and immediately to the point, without waffle. Mr. Brown's energy and enthusiasm make for compelling watching; he is a great teacher. It was so interesting and enjoyable we didn't want it to end.

This course helped me achieve something I have long been trying to achieve, and that is to think clearly. To see a book as an organized set of thoughts rather than a half-remembered dream. Dan Brown's enthusiasm is contagious and every lesson gave me more courage to continue one of the stories that run through my mind.


Curiouskinda G.

Finished this course in a day. Lucid, crisp and relevant. While good bit of the info he shared was not new, he did put it in much better context to make it stick better. And there were some good new nuggets that I did take away, so well worth it.

A fellow student

First of all, I would like to congratulate Dan Brown on the wonderful lessons presented in this course. For me, as a writer in Brazil, the tips are invaluable. Thank you all.

Julia S.

Dan, can I please hug you? This class is so so wonderful! I teach writing myself in Germany and am a YA traditionally published author (want to say: I'm a critical person .-)), but your class is so full of actionable advice, succeeds in demystifying the process in clear language, and is pure fun! I learned so much! It seems so effortless how you describe the tools (which work for any kind of author, YA just as much). And you "overshare" just in a perfect way your "secret" and I fear I have a book with a photoshopped "bestseller" button on my wall. Obviously I NEVER tell this to anybody! Your class is as masterfully designed just like a novel itself, thank you for putting in the work for us writers. Thank you for the amazing time I had following you along.


Dan Brown is incredibly generous with his advice. I love that he doesn't hold back ... he puts it all out there knowing that sharing doesn't deplete him, it increases his sphere of influence. That's a confident man! And the perfect instructor for these classes. I got my money's worth and then some.


Thank you for your time, wisdom and wise words. My personal favourite Masterclass by far.

Terry M.

Thank you for teaching me valuable writing lessons that I will treasure forever.


Thank you Sir! It was sparkling with ideas, it gives hope and path to make it happen!


As a teacher, Dan Brown is a natural, and that probably speaks to why I always learn something interesting from his books. As a published non-fiction author, I appreciate how he expertly combines fact and fiction, how thorough his research is, and how he's able to keep a story moving forward in interesting and novel ways. His approach and this course will certainly influence my new challenge: writing fiction. Thank you for a very worthwhile and inspiring course.


Dan Brown is obviously as comfortable speaking and teaching as he is with writing. His style and delivery were excellent. Most importantly, I appreciated his encouragement throughout the course. That, in itself, is the best gift any teacher can give.

Robert P.

My compliments to Mr. Brown and to Masterclass, this course was inspirational and masterful! Continued success Dan!